In a move that I’m sure many of us didn’t see coming, Bungie has made perhaps one of the biggest announcement in years. After an eight-year partnership with Activision, they have announced they’ll be self-publishing Destiny.
Update: I added some personal thoughts about this at the end of the article. Be sure to check those out.
Today, we're announcing plans for Bungie to assume full publishing rights for the Destiny franchise.
— Bungie (@Bungie) January 10, 2019
This comes during a very rough time between the Activision and Bungie, with the tension being seen by the entire gaming community.
As part of this, Activision will transfer all publishing rights to Bungie, as the company becomes its own entity. Once this has been completed, Bungie will have sole rights to the franchise and will be in charge of its own future.
When we first launched our partnership with Activision in 2010, the gaming industry was in a pretty different place. As an independent studio setting out to build a brand new experience, we wanted a partner willing to take a big leap of faith with us. We had a vision for Destiny that we believed in, but to launch a game of that magnitude, we needed the support of an established publishing partner.With Activision, we created something special. To date, Destiny has delivered a combination of over 50 million games and expansions to players all around the world. More importantly, we’ve also witnessed a remarkable community – tens of millions of Guardians strong – rise up and embrace Destiny, to play together, to make and share memories, and even to do truly great things that reach far beyond the game we share, to deliver a positive impact on people’s everyday lives.We have enjoyed a successful eight-year run and would like to thank Activision for their partnership on Destiny. Looking ahead, we’re excited to announce plans for Activision to transfer publishing rights for Destiny to Bungie. With our remarkable Destiny community, we are ready to publish on our own, while Activision will increase their focus on owned IP projects.The planned transition process is already underway in its early stages, with Bungie and Activision both committed to making sure the handoff is as seamless as possible.With Forsaken, we’ve learned, and listened, and leaned in to what we believe our players want from a great Destiny experience. Rest assured there is more of that on the way. We’ll continue to deliver on the existing Destiny roadmap, and we’re looking forward to releasing more seasonal experiences in the coming months, as well as surprising our community with some exciting announcements about what lies beyond.Thank you so much for your continued support. Our success is owed in no small part to the incredible community of players who have graced our worlds with light and life. We know self-publishing won’t be easy; there’s still much for us to learn as we grow as an independent, global studio, but we see unbounded opportunities and potential in Destiny. We know that new adventures await us all on new worlds filled with mystery, adventure, and hope. We hope you’ll join us there.See you starside.
What this all could mean for us? Well, we all know that Activision wasn’t too thrilled with sales of Destiny 2 and wanted to add more microtransactions to the game. While Bungie wanted to focus on the game, the story and the players, Activision wanted sales. So now Bungie is free (or will be) to do as they please, which ultimately could be better for the player base. We’ve already seen this with Destiny 2: Forsaken. So I see this as a positive all around.
Update: The official Blizzard customer service Twitter account provided an update stating that they aren’t expecting any changes with the infrastructure that runs the game. Good news folks!
Destiny 2 will still receive full support on BattleNet and we do not anticipate any disruption to our services or your gameplay experience. https://t.co/FFOE1iae3R
— BlizzardCS (@BlizzardCS) January 10, 2019
Still, this has me wondering about the future of the game, at least on the PC. As you know, Destiny 2 on the PC utilizes Battle.net. Which is owned by Activision/Blizzard and uses their infrastructure. Will this all change in the upcoming months? For now, we don’t know, but we have reached out to Bungie for more information regarding this.
However, I do want to add some perspective to this. I’m sure that Bungie was doing dances and cheering when they split from Microsoft back during 2007. While Microsoft wanted to keep Halo going, Bungie had other ideas which eventually caused them to end up with Activision. I still remember when people were saying that was a bad move and how Activision was going to be a huge issue – mostly due to how they treated the Call of Duty series. But Bungie wanted to be free and do their own thing. They weren’t exactly innocent then, and with this split, it’s ironic. They wanted to be free and ultimately ended up in a worse position. To the point where they wanted out, and today is a result of that. I’m glad they were able to take Destiny with them, but you have to wonder at what cost.
What happens now, is completely up to Bungie and I’m sure they’re excited about the upcoming changes.